January is named for Janus, the Roman god of beginnings. We tend to look forward at the start of year and make resolutions about changes we want to make. But Janus is depicted with two faces, since he looks back to the past as well as to the future. At Trackunit, we have a forward-looking culture, but it’s my view we should take a glance backward over the last decade to see what learnings we can carry with us as we spring forward into the next.
At the beginning of the decade, Trackunit was a side project, until we launched the company in 2012 as the construction industry took its first steps towards digitalization. On reflection, creating a tech company to serve the needs of one of the least digitalized industries may have seemed a little rash. Yes, we gained some first mover advantage, but in a context where change and rates of adoption can be very slow.
Today, digital transformation is a high priority for the construction industry with over half the companies in it reporting they have digitalization projects underway. At Trackunit we have also seen a strong move away from ring fencing and protective measures amongst manufacturers and service providers. Businesses are adopting a more collaborative mindset, many of them opening up to new alliances and partnerships in order to accelerate their digital ambitions.
It would be wrong to say that there’s a wholesale transition going on here. For some companies, digital transformation is still seen as an overwhelming threat, and even those on the digital transformation path are struggling to realise top-line benefits. Yet with the number of machines which have been connected to the cloud over the last 24 months now exceeding the total from the preceding 13 years, I think it’s fair to say there is a definite swing in momentum towards digitalization.
…creating a tech company to serve the needs of one of the least digitalized industries may have seemed a little rashJoergen Raguse
At Trackunit we’ve experienced our own shift in focus. After incubating our first seven years inside a EMS with core focus on electronic hardware production, we have undergone our own digital transformation in order to accelerate our expertise in software innovation. Like much of the industry, we’ve moved away from a “not invented here” mentality, partnering to ensure quality hardware provision, at the same time committing our internal resources in a way that keeps the main thing the main thing; delivering customer value.
Paraphrasing McKinsey, any transformation is hard, digital transformation is harder. The tipping point for Trackunit was re-structuring the ownership of the business. We made strategic decisions about our offer and our markets – this gave us enormous clarity of vision. We knew that doing more of the same would deliver exactly that; more of the same. We knew we were capable of more than that. We wanted more than that. We could see that the market also deserved more than that.
Borrowing from the experiences of others with greater digital maturity, we set about enhancing our skillsets throughout the company. Talent acquisition was key, and we moved location in order to be more accessible to the talent pool. We worked hard on our brand so that our vision was not only appealing to the executive board, but also shared by our wider team and customers. We concentrated on making Trackunit the kind of place the best people would want to invest their lives in.
After three years of planning and executing, jumping between moments of extreme panic and periods of unnerving calm, personal challenges and collective successes, we’ve made a full 360-degree transformation: change is now part of our DNA. In the process, we’ve strengthened Trackunit and made it great place to work. In an industry full of complex technology and yellow iron, I’m proud of the very human brand which we’ve created. We’ve come a long way in the last ten years; at Trackunit we look forward to rising to the opportunities presented in the next decade.
Check out the upcoming 2020 predictions from Trackunit CCO, Soeren Jensen.
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